January 17, 2018 (Updated: January 24, 2024)
Writing may be hard for most people, but marketing is generally much worse. For the average content creator, especially beginners, marketing is embarrassing, slimy, and terrifying. However, it can still be effective without being any of those things. Below, we’ll go over some specific guidelines for e-books, whether they’re offered for free to generate buzz or put behind a paywall to earn your business revenue. No matter your business and the purpose of your e-book, you can get more people reading it and aware of your brand without sacrificing your dignity.
Social media has immense potential for marketing, especially digital products like e-books, but most people will never dig deeper than basic, surface-level participation. Take this potential seriously by studying your competition and coming up with a clear plan and objective. Consider what you want social media to do for your my e-book. If you’re aiming to get traffic onto a lead page, for example, that will require different tactics than if you’re using social media to get sales.
Studying your competition and audience will save you a lot of wasted time on social media. In general, plan out your strategy and make sure every decision was made off good information. Don’t just choose Facebook, for example, because it’s the biggest site. Do research to help discern where your potential readers are most concentrated, how they like to communicate, and how they feel about businesses like yours and their e-books. Marketing is communication on a grand scale, and the more you know about someone, the better you can communicate.
Image via Flickr by threephin
This is a must for anyone making an informative or self-help e-book, although its ideas can be re-purposed for other genres. Pain points are just what they sound like: specific ideas or issues that are frustrating your ideal customers. They should be specific enough that your product is likely the first thing they’ve seen in a while that could help them. Pain points are fantastic because they allow you to easily communicate with people who feel the same as you about the problems related to the e-book. Instead of hawking your wares, you are offering a solution.
Let’s consider a challenging example: fiction. An author has published a mystery novel, one that he takes pride in for its intense twist, and his goal is to make sales, so he has to really drive curiosity. Instead of general, overdone marketing messages for his genre, like “you’ll never guess who did it,” he could frame it as a particular problem with passionate readers of mystery. “Are you sick of reading mysteries where you guessed the killer? You’ll never figure this one out early!” This subtly implies that this book will not be another disappointment, igniting a mystery reader’s interest.
This involves creating more content, in shorter form, as an enticing sample, and making it easy to find on an SEO-optimized website. This site has lightbox, banner, or sidebar advertisements of your e-book. Like when grocery stores offer a free sample of a product, some visitors will take up the offer to get the fuller, more satisfying content. Just be certain that your e-book is offering more of the same, but better. If your e-book is a wilderness survival guide, for instance, then educational articles, such as how to start a fire without a match, would be appropriate.
This strategy is all over the internet because it really works. You don’t have to take the same route as most people, either, by creating a blog. You could also market your e-book with infographics, animations, and interactive media, or even videos. The important thing is that you consider what people might like and then test new versions of it. Be generous and frequent with your content, but make it clear that the premium stuff is in the e-book, and that will require something of the viewer, whether signing up to your list, buying it, or whatever else you want your e-book to do for your business.
This next example is something done all over the web. Let’s say you make a fairly in-depth e-book, but then come up with an even more high-value idea. You could offer the more basic one as a free gift for signing up to a mailing list. Then, a few days later in an auto-responder series, you could send emails to those people mentioning your more advanced e-book. You charge money for this one, but that’s not the point. The point is that this book is a chance to make every lead from the first book more valuable.
In the email, you offer the second e-book to your email leads for free if they hit a few social media share buttons to share the previous book around to more people and send in screenshots. Or you could require them to follow your main social media account and post their impressions of the book there (especially great for building a healthy Facebook page). Imagine the types of funnels and possibilities that would appear with more books, as well. As you develop greater e-books, show their worth by requiring greater investment from interested customers.
None of these tips and strategies require you to deceive people or spend unreasonable amounts of money on advertising. These are just some of the prime methods to get your e-book discovered by the people who will love it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B company releasing an e-book to draw attention to your consulting services, an independent author taking a leap into your artistic career, or anything in between. Marketing always takes work and studying, but its basic tenets are refreshingly simple.
Remember: don’t let your nerves stop you from trying these things. If you approach marketing as an opportunity to give value to others in the most efficient ways possible, and you aren’t trying to trick people into giving you money, the veils of self-doubt fall away, and you see that your e-books and business are your gift to your audience. Package that gift as best you can and share it to the world.
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